I remember back in 2011 when the idea of digital comics was being introduced, many were not fans of the idea at all. In fact, many said that digital comics were going to kill printed comics and comic book shops. Obviously, digital hasn’t ended anything. Most are still buying both digital and traditionally printed books.

Are digital comics great for the industry?

When this was first introduced, Marvel comics offered a digital code to go along with physical copies of certain titles. Some latched onto the idea of having their entire collection at their fingertips digitally.

In addition to this comfort, many collectors utilized this as a way to further preserve their collections. Everyone else, either didn’t care, didn’t use the codes, or forgot it was even a thing Marvel was providing. It is now a service that has become so commonplace that it is expected.

Well, that has all changed now. Beginning February 2017, Marvel will no longer offer a complimentary code for the corresponding issue you purchased. Instead, these codes will be for two or more digital issues. Seemingly to make matters worse, these books will be changing on a weekly basis. With the release of the first few titles to be offered this way, many are speculating it is only a ploy by Marvel to ease the strain the big publisher has been experiencing at local comic book shops.

Will Marvel suffer from this change or excel?

In a press release by Marvel, the following information was given.

"Marvel is continuing our commitment by offering our fans the best value in comics along with honoring our cornerstone of the comic book industry – the retailers,” said David Gabriel, Marvel's SVP of Sales. "Our intent in evolving our digital code program is to offer our fans more value per dollar spent.

Replacing the free digital copy, our bonus digital comics will offer fans free entry points for current on sale collected editions and, in turn, invite additional and repeat traffic into our trusted retailers.”

It’s hard to say how this will affect Marvel in the long run, but one thing is certain; fans are not happy, and they are making their voice heard.